April 29, 2012

The Siren's Lament

The first time I saw you,
they had tied you to the mast,
and you were raving like a sun-struck lunatic.
Your face was red, and you were sweating,
stripped to the waist,
like a lover
or a slave.

I called out to you.
I couldn't help it,
I cried loneliness.
I cried longing.
I cried lust.

I sang,
as though I'd sing you free,
sing you safe,
sing you to me.

You strained against the ropes
like a madman. The ropes knew better, biting
indifferently into your flesh.
I saw the red drops welling up
on your slick, sunburnt skin.
You roared in pain, and frustrated desire
and I was almost close enough to touch you
but I could only watch

from my sexless perch
on the salty cliffs of solitude.

It was not my choice
to sing such deadly love songs,
such final lullabies.

It is not my fault
that I was made this way,
that every time I weep,
or speak a wish,
men die before
I've finished talking.

I'd rather have a conversation
than a conquest.
I'd rather have a courtship
than another corpse.
All those beautiful boys
made beautiful bones,
not one
a proper lover.

I hear you made it home.

I hear your woman wove you back to her
like a patient spider.
I am patient too.
I sit upon my rocky throne.
I braid my hair and unbraid it.
I claim a kill, still,
now and then.

I wait for you
You will return.

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